IAF braveheart Abhinandan Varthaman advised to go on sick leave after debriefing

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IAF braveheart Abhinandan Varthaman advised to go on sick leave after debriefing

The sick leave may extend for up to three weeks -- on the advice of doctors of Army's Research and Referral Hospital.

Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Thursday was advised to go on a sick leave after the completion of debriefing process.

The sick leave may extend for up to three weeks -- on the advice of doctors of Army's Research and Referral Hospital.

The IAF pilot had overwhelmed the entire nation with his fortitude and courage in the face of Pakistani captivity last month. He was reportedly captured on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison was hit by the Pakistan Army across the Line of Control (LoC).

During debriefing, Abhinandan narrated his experience in enemy captivity, where, he said, he was subjected to extreme mental harassment.

HOW IT ALL HAPPENED

Tension mounted between two countries after Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed over 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kasmir's Pulwama on February 14.

India, in retaliation, carried out a pre-dawn airstrike on a JeM terror camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A day later, 24 Pakistan Air Force jets entered Indian airspace near LoC and dropped bombs in the Indian territory.

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured on February 27. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the next day that Abhinandan would be released on March 1 as a "peace gesture".

Pakistani media reported how in the face of grave danger, our fighter pilot didn't panic or lose his mind.

Instead, he fought his captors, fired into the air and swallowed important documents (which should not have been in enemy hands), before he was outnumbered and captured.

All this, while he was bleeding profusely after the crash.

On March 2, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met Abhinandan Varthaman.

During the meeting at a medical facility of the Indian Air Force, Varthaman was understood to have explained to Sitharaman details about his nearly 60-hour stay in Pakistan. Sitharaman conveyed to him that the entire nation was proud of his courage and determination.

In Delhi too, Abhinandan underwent a series of medical tests as part of a "cooling down" process. He also underwent medical tests at the Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), a compact and specialised medical evaluation centre for aircrew of all the three services.